Considering the current cultural climate of the country, Kosha Dillz’s new video for “We Are Different” with Living Legends emcee Murs couldn’t come at a better time. Featuring people from a multitude of different races, backgrounds, and socio-economic statuses, the video illustrates just how important it is to unite with one another, especially during a time of political unrest and racial injustice. The hook repeats, “We are different/it’s going to be okay,” something many of us need to hear on a daily basis.
“Forever free thinkers/we will never bow down to no man,” Murs spits, seemingly igniting his own fire within. The video provides a powerful message accompanied by the faces of what makes up the human race. Whether white, Black, Hispanic, Asian, disabled, short, tall, young, old—none of it matters as long as there’s an understanding that while we’re all different, we’re still in search of some of the same things: love, happiness, stability, equality, respect, and freedom.
Produced by mutual friend Jesse Shatkin and directed by Diwon, “We Are Different” resulted from a chance meeting in 2008. Kosha met Murs in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where he tried to land on his “Murs for President” tour. No one would put him on, but Kosha was undeterred. Fast forward to 2016 and Kosha Dillz has refined his rapping style, delivering a more sophisticated sound and message. This time Murs, the mastermind behind the infamous Paid Dues festival, was happy to team up with the LA-based rapper to push a song of peace. Murs talked to The Source about the concept of the video, his thoughts on the #BlackLivesMatter movement and living in a culture that consistently condones violence.
The Source: How did you and Kosha team up?
Murs: Kosha is everywhere, as you well know. However, we really connected once we found we had a friend/producer in common. Jesse Shatkin a.k.a. Belief and I have been friends and making music together since high school. When he vouched for Kosha, I decided to take some time out to get to know him and really listen to his music.
Tell me about the inspiration behind the song.
This was Kosha’s concept. I really dug it. I came by Jesse’s house while they were working. Once he played, it I knew I had to be on it.
How did this video come together and what are you hoping viewers get from watching it? It’s very powerful imagery and such an important topic right now.
This was also Kosha’s idea. We had so much fun shooting it. I just hope people come away from it with a smile.
It feels like we’re seeing a growth in racism and discrimination in the media. How is this affecting you and what you want to do with your work?
I’ve always tried to work with whoever I thought was dope. Whether putting together a line up for Paid Dues or looking for features for an album. The discrimination and racism dominating the media currently lets me know. Outside of my little bubble, there is still a lot of work to be done by us as a world community. Those of us who want to make a positive change must continue to push as hard as ever in the name of peace, love and unity.
What are your thoughts on the #BlackLivesMatter movement? Do you think we as a culture are anywhere near the point where we propel things to change?
I think the possibility of change is always within reach of any forward thinking society. Unfortunately, what I see from the current movement is a lot of archaic tactics and backwards thinking. We must be inspired by our predecessors, but we cannot continue to imitate them. The SCLC was the SCLC. The Panthers were the Panthers. We need to learn from their successes and failures, and move forward. Marching to demand justice from a government that since inception has shown it doesn’t care about Black people is useless. I believe the problem with America in general is our culture of violence. I feel we need to start there. We as a Black community need to focus our energy inward. Let’s march to remove law enforcement from our communities. Period. Or instead of ‘f*ck the police,’ let’s encourage more of our youth to become officers. But wearing shirts with slogans and walking with signs, that alone ain’t gonna do it. There is a place for civil protest. There just needs to be more to it. And as for #BlackLivesMatter, I’m on board no matter the color of the killer. Last time I checked, Black men were killing more Black men than the police. I will not stand for anyone of any color unjustly taking the life of another human. Period.